Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday 22nd.August 2009

Wasn't sure where to go today , so with plenty of cloud in the sky , decided to stay local , with a morning visit to Spring Park Pond . On taking my first shot of the day , I had to eat my words that I commented on Rob , Wight Rambler's blog last night , that I had never seen any Sawflies like he had posted , then in front of me is Tenthredo notha , the same species that Rob had photographed , although on first sighting , I must admit that it looked like another Hoverfly . Which was exactly what my second species was , but also looking a bit waspy . I think this one is Conops quadrifasciata , if it isn't , I know a man who will tell me . The pond itself was very quiet without any sunshine , so I headed off to the small sheltered meadow , and started recording the odd butterfly on my way . Also found was a dead Common Shrew , laying by the side of the path . As has been said before on blogs , they have a nasty taste from either the hair or the skin , and , having been caught , are then left by their attacker . On the same path , I found a member of the Primrose family in flower , Creeping Jenny , as as the name infers , it creeps over the ground , in this case , trying to blot out the small path . Apologies , as this is in fact Yellow Pimpernel a close relative , many thanks to Dean for pointing it out . I just put it down to my age .Even when I reached the small meadow , butterflies were very few , although I did find a very fresh looking male Common Blue , trying to catch the attention of a not so fresh female . For the record , he made no impression at all , as she flew off and left him looking dejected . When I checked my records , I had only recorded 17 butterflies , but surprisingly , I had recorded 9 species . Birdwise , the Wrens were very vocal today , and a Robin was singing his shorter song . Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch were also heard . By the time I returned to the pond , the sun had come out and so had a few Odonata . Migrant Hawker , Common Darter , Common Blue and Azure Damselflies were recorded on small numbers .
After lunch , with skies still heavy , I had a quick look at Hayes Farm , a site that I usually visit through the Winter . I headed for the Trout Fishery , as a tractor was working in one of the main fields , and nothing was about . All the residents from last year were seen , including the Egyptian Goose , seen here balancing on some of the bales of Barley straw , placed in the fishery to try to eradicate the Blanket Weed . Because of low water levels , the bales have risen above the surface . Heading back the way I had come , I noticed a large piece of rubber sheeting , laying by a fenceline . Looking like a large refugia , I had to give it a turn , and found three amphibians and a large Devil's Coach Horse , that left at a rate of knots . The two Common Newts were reasonably easy to see , but the Common Toad was a bit harder . This is a good time for turning things over , as most amphibians will have left the water , in preparation for hibernation , returning to the water to breed next Spring . On my way back to the car , I found a Small White , nectaring on a white crucifer , a member of the Cabbage family , Wild Radish , identified by the lilac veins on the white petals . Apart from a lot of weeds of cultivation , I found several specimens of Hedgerow Cranesbill , a member of the Geranium family . Compared to the Winter visits , things were very quiet , so I will leave my next visit till then .


Warren Baker said...

I would have looked straight past that Toad greenie!

Anonymous said...

Hi Greenie,
Interesting technique with the straw bales - how does that work then?
Another Tenthredo!
Only really guessing that mine was a T. notha - apparently a couple of others look v. similar inc. T. arcuata and T. brevicornis.

ShySongbird said...

I'm learning the tricks of the trade from you Greenie! We went to a Nature Reserve today which wasn't very productive but on the way round where once I would have thought 'Why has someone left that ugly old piece of tin there' I lifted it to have a peek, sadly nothing there, but maybe next time!

Anonymous said...

Bang on with the Hover id, Greenie. And what a beauty it is.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Greenie. Forgot to mention your yellow flower looks like Yellow Pimpernel. Creeping Jenny doesn`t open it flowers fully. They`re more bell-shaped looking.

Greenie said...

Rob ,
Apparently something in Barley straw is meant to reduce the Blanket weed growth . I have tried it in my small pond , the jury is still out . I Googled T.notha , and it looked a good fit for me .

ShySongbird ,
Sooner or late , you will find something of interest . My best is probably Gt.Crested Newt .

Dean ,
Thanks for the correct ID . I actually checked the book , and as they are both together , went for the wrong one .